Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers' Quilt Festival! - I dance in circles

Pin It I'm cheating a bit,  because I want to show you a new finish for my Festival quilt..

I dance in circles

Here is "I dance in circles."

The full tutorial will be posted in the Moda Bake Shop on November 8.

And here is how "I dance in circles" came to be.

Back in April, the lovely Jacquie  posted a link to this video.  I had recently completed a wonky nine-patch, and wondered if the techniques of making that block could be combined with the gem in the video to make curves.  Because I love curves.

So I gave it a whirl that day, and made this:

I wanted to make it with Kate Spain's Fandango, and wanted solids that coordinated.

The geniuses in Moda's sample department sent me Grunge solids.  

♥ again

What I love about this quilt:
  • It has a lot of freedom in making the blocks
  • The interplay of color
  • The interplay of solid with print
  • The interplay of scale with print with color
  • Choosing the fabrics and cutting based on whatever I felt like at that moment
  • Easy construction and piecing
  • Steiger loves it.
  • More glorious color
What I don't love about this quilt:
  • I'm sure there was something, but I can't think of it at the moment.
Oh!  I know!  I don't love that my machine was having some MAJOR tension issues while I was trying to free motion stipple it.  

But all turned out well in the end.  And I might be getting a new sewing machine based on the fact that my husband sat next to me while I was battling said tension problems.

Go check out all the other Quilt Festival Quilts at Amy's!

(I'm just hoping I get to go to Market next Spring!... there's a good chance!) :)

  • Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Pin It Bee friends --

I am so sorry your blocks will be late this month!

I got a little sidetracked at the last minute (and yes, I'm scolding myself for waiting until the last minute for all of the above... especially since I'm subbing tomorrow while S hangs with Daddy in the tractor or harvester, and won't have tomorrow's nap-time to sew).

Costume WIP

I'm thinking it's worth it though.

Or at least someone in this house thinks so.

costume wip

Bolstered with confidence from a friend, I put in my first zipper since leaving the guidance of my junior high 4-H instructor.


Off to bed for me!  Hoping to finish the rest tomorrow!

costume wip running

Monday, October 25, 2010

60 sewing days until...

Pin It Christmas!  (not to panic you or anything)

I'm on my way, but I've got a list (and just like myself, I keep adding to it).

At least I'll have a few decorations though. :)

There was a package waiting for me when I got home from subbing on Friday (Steiger was with Daddy in the harvester)... Kendra spoiled me in the All About Christmas Swap.

All About Christmas swap from Kendra!

She sent four stockings (she was planning ahead with me, in hopes that the fourth will be in use for next Christmas), some kid friendly ornaments (thank you!), a super cute pillow that will match my Christmas Bee quilt PERFECTLY, a book on decorating (she's been reading my blog and knows I need all the help I can get!) and some cute fabric pieces.  Thank you Kendra!  (I got to know Kendra through flickrland... I love that place). :)

my new stocking  All About Christmas swap from Kendra!

Carol (aka mamacjt ... aka Doll Quilt Queen) was my partner.  Here's what I sent her.

All About Christmas swap items

I really wanted to keep this pillow for myself (especially now that it would go so well with the one Kendra sent) ;)

Christmasy pillow  All About Christmas swap items

The little ornament wall hanging was a leftover from this.  I had made a couple of the blocks from jaybirds' hexagon quilt along, but knew the rest were not going to happen this year.  So I used them in this little wall hanging, and loved how it turned out.


I mentioned at the top we have 60 sewing days until Christmas.  Here's what's on my sewing table.

Reworking my tree-skirt design for my sister-in-law (and myself)...

tree skirt WIP

And my goal is to not buy any presents this year, but to just make the gifts I've purchased fabric for over the months (with specific recipients in mind)...

Christmas gift WIP

Christmas gift WIP

Christmas gift WIP

You might notice those above projects aren't necessarily my first choice in fabrics... 
so I've got a few to finish up for myself too (as soon as we get that new machine -- crossing fingers!)

One from a long time ago to finish:

WIP to be quilted

And a couple more...

WIP to be quilted

WIP to be finished

(Patterns and/or tutorials coming soon for these last two)

Last but not least -- 

I've got 5 days to finish Steiger's Halloween costume, and this little custom quilt needs to be finished and  sent on to its tiny owner!

Back to sewing for me!

winner, winner. :)

Pin It Mr. RNG picked #50...

Can I say how glad I am that I added numbers to my comments? :)

Peach Rainbow!  You're the winner! :)

more Diva Dresdens

(and you're in my thoughts...) ;)

I'll email you for your preferences, and get that made up (the plan is) next week, while I'm doing a bee block catch up.  (Sorry Bee friends... I've got a Halloween costume to make!)

and thank you for all your loving comments.  I'm working on getting back on the emails! (Unfortunately, S-man doesn't like to let Mommy type if he's awake). ;)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It took a year...

Pin It ... but I finally did it. :)

I finally made a quilt for myself.  And it is oh so pretty.

My Nicey Jane FQ quilt along top

True, it's not technically a quilt yet, but it will be soon, and there's a good reason it's not yet...

Because I made this quilt pretty big (it's 12 x 14 rows), my little machine can't handle it.  

Nicey Jane FQ Quilt along top

And because Jay (the hubs) was sitting next to me while I was quilting this quilt (to be posted Nov. 8), and thus he witnessed first hand my frustrations with free motioning when the tension kept going all wonky, I think I'll be getting a new machine next month!  

It'll be a stretch of the budget, but I'm a good rationalizer (won't have to hire a long arm for bigger quilts, have been hired to make quilts for some friends, and my niece's big girl bed, and we aren't buying any Christmas presents this year; I'm making them all, and quilting them on a new machine will go much more smoothly)...

Truth is, I just married a good man, who likes me happy... and though I want a Janome Horizon, I think Amanda Jean has sold me on the Juki TL-98Q (well, her review and the fact that it's $2200 cheaper).

I've already got 4 quilt tops waiting for it.  And I bought a large case of basting pins... so I'm ready to baste, baste, baste the next couple weeks. :)


I'm a bit distracted while trying to write my one year post, and in a rather reflective mood.

Here's the post where I officially turned this in to a quilting blog.

And here was Steiger on my first real-size finished quilt a year-ish ago, 

And here he was yesterday.

a one year later picture

Getting so big.

S is getting big!

(tangent warning)

I'm having one of those days/moments where I don't know if I should venture in to the land of self-exposure or not... but I think I'm going to, because I'm finding myself unable to write a simple bloggiversary post due to being overwhelmed with reflectiveness.


(getting a bit emotional)

This morning, I read one of those blog posts that re-cements the reality that on the other end of these computers are real people.  And when real people come in to contact with one another, they have the power and potential to be conduits of love and hope and blessing.

I'm crying like a baby right now while typing, and it's completely because of that blog post.  I watched it over five hours ago for goodness' sake!

I've only mentioned it once on here before, but Steiger's birth day was not an easy one for me (you don't even want to see the picture of me after I came out of surgery).  Many of you read that post and connected with me with stories of your own, but the truth is that a year and a half later, even though I'm feeling so much more sane about the idea of gearing up for round 2, I still have a lot of fears and regrets about how things went the first time.  

I'm stumbling over my words here.

The bottom line is that you all have helped me.  I am a sensitive soul, and was in desperate need of a healthy coping mechanism to help get me out from under some difficult emotions... and you gave me quilting.  And designing.  And swaps.  And comments.  And giveaways.  And pretty pictures of pretty fabrics. And creating.

So I thank you.

I'm still waiting and praying to see how that day will be used in my life, but I do believe I am loved and all things work together for good...

(And -- if any of you are on the hunt for a VBAC as I will be soon -- not pregnant yet -- don't hesitate to be in contact...and I think I'm going to need to make a story quilt here soon... though Angela set the bar pretty high)...


Now for the appreciation giveaway!

I ♥ Dresdens, and I want to make one for one of you, in the form of a mini quilt or pillow cover...or even a quilt block if you'd like to add a Dresden to a quilt you're making (like the 3x6 Sampler bee for example).  

You can pick the colors and style (maybe even a link to a quilt or room you'd like it to coordinate with), and I'll make it up for you.  :)

Here are a few I've made... to help inspire you. :)

Dresden giveaway!

To enter:

1) Leave me a comment with either:
- an introduction (if you're new especially)
- a sewing machine recommendation
- a suggestion for how to quilt *my* quilt
- a link to/mention of something you've made recently 
- a link to/mention of something you've loved recently (or)
- some other friendly little word

2) If you like it here, and are a follower, you can get an extra entry.  Please leave the note in a separate comment.

I'll probably pick the winner randomly on Sunday, but I reserve the right to both be busy at the pumpkin patch that day, and/or use something other than to decide the winner. 

Good luck!  And from the bottom of my sappy heart... thank you for creating with me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Pin It On Sunday, I made a "year ago today" post...

Well... a year ago today, I started blogging again.

So it's my quilting bloggiversary! :)

But we're waiting until tomorrow (fingers crossed) to celebrate.

Remember this from last week?  So I might have gone a little overboard... like 88 times overboard (the original quilt calls for 80 blocks).

FQ quilt along in Nicey Jane

I stayed up late last night to finish the blocks and get them layed out on the floor while the baby was sleeping.

FQ quilt along in Nicey Jane

Hoping against hope I can get all 14 rows joined, and have something to show you...

...stay tuned for a belated bloggiversary celebration! (and a followers appreciation too... and as soon as I hear back from AccuQuilt, a Go! giveaway) :)

P.S. I was at JoAnn's last night... and the Go! cutters were one sale from $349 to $249!  That's quite a discount on something that (almost) never goes on sale!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

a year ago today...

Pin It
October 17, 2009

I was looking for a picture to send to Jay's mom for her birthday, and I looked at this one.

*sentimental moment I'm now sharing with all of you!*

Here he is a couple mornings ago...

s and his tractor

My baby's getting so big.

(and so's my baby fever...)

And we're getting dangerously close to 400 followers... you know what that means!

I gave in.

Pin It Pillow Talk Swap Round 4.

I had to.

It's my favorite swap, and last time I got such a great pillow.

My inspiration mosaic.

I'm thinking something to go with my Chubby Stars quilt.

Pillow talk swap round 4 inspiration

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

(I'm waiting for the final Go! ahead from AccuQuilt to start the giveaway... soon!) :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

my nicey creative space

Pin It Even though I have a million projects to do (including my own quilt along), this is what's on my design table at the moment.

Nicey Jane for FQ quilt along

Because I've been tempted long enough.

Because I ♥ Nicey Jane more than anything.

And because I am in charge of my quilty destiny.

Nicey Jane quilt along

*spoken like the mother of a toddler who absolutely needs to be able to control something.

Linked to kootoyoo.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Pin It (The Go! giveaway should be the next post!) :)


I sold a little quilt.

So naturally...

...I bought some fabric.

It had been way too long (about 3 months I think, not counting a few yards of white and stone)

Some Bliss*

bliss blenders

Some Farmdale.


Some dots.

some new blenders

and some solids.

some lovely solids

Wow that felt good.

*I was subbing a couple days this week, and S went to stay the night with his grandma (his first night away!)... he did great, and even though I missed him like crazy, I got a whole quilt top done.  I hope to have it to show you soon... I think I'm gonna try to write up the pattern for it. :)  UPS still has my backing fabric.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Go! in strips and rags

Pin It *ALERT: If I saw you on the day you gave birth to your second born, go directly to the little x in the top corner of this window, and click it... yes, that means you Mom.  You too Jamie.*


The final installment of my Go! mini reviews, before the giveaway (sorry, I'm a day behind)...

In case you've missed anything:
- A few notes on using the die that comes with the cutter
- "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" (you know, I have a minor in Biblical studies, and I still don't know the origins of this expression)

Please leave your Go! related questions in the comments, and I will address them with the giveaway.  I am waiting on an answer for a couple questions I had myself (I sent Friday, so I expect to hear back tomorrow).


I have the 2 1/2" Strip cutter, (there are other strip cutter options; this one is apparently the most popular though).

First, the technical stuff:

It cuts three strips wide, up to six layers of fabric at a time.  If you're cutting with the width of fabric, you can get nine 2 1/2" strips each rotation.  



This die is nice and long, and does allow you to get the full length of fabric folded in half (or one fat quarter) on there, even without cutting off the selvage edge (though a couple times I did miss part and ended up with this effect).  

trying out the strip cutter

Not a big deal really, and easily fixed with a quick snip.

It does cut beautifully even strips which I used in this little custom quilt I'm working on, but I still wasn't sold on it.


I have this stack of fabric which will be turning in to a Christmas gift.


I plan to use one of the designs from Camille's new book that calls for 2 1/2" strips.  

So I pulled out my cutter again.

Sure, it cuts great strips, but *meh*

Now here's what I like about this die:
  • accommodates the full length of fabric
  • beautiful, even cuts
What I don't really like:
  • I found it much more difficult to crank through than the other dies
  • If you don't have your fabric cut to the right size before hand, you can get more waste than I like (there is 7 1/2" of usable fabric there when done)
  • I got some creases in my strips that weren't there when I laid it on the die...because yes, I ironed first.

All in all, I'm not wild about this die, because even though it works, it doesn't seem to save me much time.  My ruler does slip on occasion, yes, but I can whip out 2 1/2" strips pretty easily.  I think I would love this if it cranked through easier, but I found myself worrying I'd get a sore elbow or wrist.  I went back to my rotary cutter for the rest of the cutting for this quilt.  I wish I had this die instead.


The last die I have used is the Rag Quilt in the 8 1/2" size (the blocks finish at 6 1/2")

This is part of the stack of fabrics getting ragged up as a gift.  You see, rag quilts aren't really my thing, and neither are these colors... but alas, that's what love is all about... sewing with what feels like men's leisure suits, if the heart of the recipient so desires.

These are actually very nice wools from Moda and Benartex...not men's leisure suits.

Here are some of our completed squares.  :)

I apologize I don't have any actions shots of this, but here's my quick review:

What I like about this die:
  • It will save me from a carpal tunnel flare up (I'm not lying)
  • It fringes even this very heavy, thick fabric well
What I don't like about this die:

  • We had some trouble with the wool getting caught in the blade intersections.  It was hard to pick out even with the pick the cutter comes with (I don't think other fabrics would have had this reaction to the same degree, but I apologize I didn't try any others out).

  • The little tiny blades were popping up after a few cuts.  My sister-in-law actually cut her finger brushing the die off, because the blades were higher than the surface of the foam.  They popped back down if I pressed on them with my scissors (not my nice scissors; don't worry), but it was odd.  (This is one of the questions I am waiting to hear back on).
My personal bottom line:
If you're in to rag quilts -- get this die.  I can only imagine snipping all those shaggy edges.  Yikes, I say.
I'd get the smaller one to go with this if I made rag quilts.

Next Go! post -- a giveaway with Q & A! :)

Thanks for reading!


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